bali usada tapa brata retreat

“Using Pak Merta’s specific techniques it is often possible to heal ailments, clear blockages, settle unresolved emotional trauma and generally be happier.”

It was my very first silent meditation retreat and it was life changing!

Many ‘silent’ retreats I have attended before, I’ve noticed an awful lot of smiling, signing, thumbs upping, gesturing and communicating through eye contact. This just didn’t feel right to me and I thought how I would really like to try a practice of silence and solitude, or noble silence as it’s called: no communicating whatsoever either verbally or non-verbally which includes no eye contact. Pak Merta Ada’s extremely disciplined and structured Tapa Brata (health, in Bahasa Balinese) Meditation Retreat was just the thing I needed!

Pak Merta Ada is very well known throughout Indonesia with his own radio show broadcasting his message of meditation and positivity to over 4 million listeners per-week. He is an excellent storyteller and the week of silence was made that much more enjoyable listening to his lectures which were spiced and accented with stories from experience with past students, Indonesian folklore, as well as stories from the Koran, the Bible and other sources. Pak Merta is Indonesian of Chinese decent and Buddhist belief but he keeps the teachings and entire retreat completely secular with no religious overtones, accessible to everyone.

A big theme of the week was “anicca” or impermanence which is the Buddhist notion that all of conditioned existence or our reality, without exception, is in a constant state of flux or change. Pak Merta re-iterates this fact over and over and pushes us to embrace and acknowledge this notion deeply and to really believe and understand the fact that this is truly so, as a means of reducing suffering and achieving a more unified state of being. A lot of the week is spent focusing on one’s breath, the chakras, and our physical bodies, as well as listening to Pak Merta’s lectures and stories where he imparts some very valuable information and knowledge.

This meditation teaches not only how to attain a harmonious mind but also how to use that to purify negative reactions in the body, on both a physical and mental level.  Using Pak Merta’s specific techniques it is often possible to heal ailments, clear blockages, settle unresolved emotional trauma and generally be happier.  What struck me most at the end of the week was how applicable the teachings were to one’s daily life; not just esoteric language that makes you feel good at the time, but actually a process and technique that we can use daily to improve the quality of our lives.

This retreat was my first foray into the world of meditation and it got me hooked. I am now proud to say that I am a meditator and since doing this Tapa Brata retreat, I have been meditating every single day! I cannot say enough good things about how this practice has helped me, and how I have benefitted from both attending this retreat and having a meditation practice. Don’t take my word for it – experience it for yourself! 

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